Do Africans need genetically modified mosquitoes?

genetically modified, mosquito, oxitec, autocidal, SIT, perspective, malaria, gene drive synthetic, engagement,,  Mail and Guardian,  2020.

Last week, a plan to release over 750-million genetically modified mosquitoes into Florida received final approval from local authorities. Even though the proposal had already won state and federal approval, the news received strong reactions from residents and environmental advocacy groups in the United States, who fear the effect on the ecosystem and public health.

What do Africans think about genetically modified mosquitoes?

That was then
The following is an updated version of an article I wrote for the University of Michigan Risk Science Centre a while ago:

When I first learned of the idea to genetically modify mosquitoes (GMMs) as a strategy for controlling the diseases transmitted by these much-maligned insects, I thought it was refreshingly innovative. Little did I know that scientists had been fiddling with mosquitoes, and other insects, for the same reason long before I was born.

In 1951, Bushland and Hopkins demonstrated that screwworm flies could be sterilised with x-rays, and by 1959 Edward Knipling had proposed the concept of releasing factory-produced sterile insects to control the populations of certain pests. Since then the sterile insect technique (SIT) has undergone substantial modification and now includes the production of transgenic insects. There have been many releases of sterile insects, on virtually every continent, with varying degrees of success in the control of insect pests.


Large-cage assessment of a transgenic sex-ratio distortion strain on populations of an African malaria vector

Gene Drives